During the intraday trading on March 24, 2014, share prices of
CONSOL Energy Inc.
) reached a 52-week high of $41.34 per share finally closing a
notch lower at $40.53.
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During the past month, CONSOL Energy shares have traded in a
volatile range, increasing 2.43%. The company has a market cap of
roughly $9.3 billion and the average volume traded over the last
three months is around 2.2 million.
Of late, the company has been trying to revamp its focus and
long-term goals by way of divesting its coal assets. The company
might continue to shed a few more of its coal assets while
retaining some high-quality low cost-mines to capitalize on the
benefits of low-cost production offered by coal.
CONSOL Energy is transitioning to an Exploration & Production
company by expanding its gas and liquids production volumes. The
company projects first quarter 2014 gas production in the range
of 47-49 billion cubic feet (Bcf) and 2014 production in
the band of 215-235 Bcf.
However, the Zacks Rank #3 (Hold) company came out with
lower-than-expected earnings in the fourth quarter of 2013
primarily due to huge coal transition-related costs. Other
factors that led to the earnings downtrend were softer coal
prices and lower benefits realized from the overhead reduction
It is notable that the company targets a compounded growth rate
of 30% in its Gas segment over the next three years. A part of
this is expected to come from the 87% growth in Marcellus
production. Moreover, the acquisition of gas drilling rights for
90,000 acres from Dominion Transmission, a unit of
), will complement the expansion strategy.
The company looks forward to create value from its refocused
expansion initiatives and cost cutting strategies. We expect the
activities undertaken by the company last year will begin to bear
fruits starting this year.
Other Stocks to Consider
Other better ranked stocks in this space include
Rhino Resource Partners LP
), sporting a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy) and
Oxford Resource Partners, L.P.
), with a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy).